The Growler: Issue 78 – April 2020 – The Old Country

Cover art by Sam Soulek

Dear Readers, 

On Monday, March 16, our publisher Matt Kenevan informed staff that The Growler Magazine needs to temporarily suspend operations in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Bars, restaurants, taprooms, and event organizers—the very advertisers and partners that make up the core of our magazine’s financial support—have been closed down, and small businesses like ours are being caught in the widening gyre of economic hardship.

To be clear, this is not goodbye. While this suspension of operations means that you will not find a May print issue on stands, our full intention is to return as soon as we can with a new issue for your reading pleasure. 

This was the hardest decision Matt has ever had to make as a small business owner. It is a painful time for our entire staff, who month after month pour their hearts and souls into this magazine. If you have the means and would like to support the magazine, consider making a financial contribution or purchasing a magazine subscription at

But our company’s story is sadly just one of many. Please consider supporting your favorite craft drinking and dining establishments in any way possible, whether that be purchasing gift cards, ordering growlers to-go, or purchasing a bottle of spirits or wine at your favorite liquor store. 

This month’s Old Country theme was originally conceived as an issue to highlight the rich flavors and diverse ideas that have made their way from the other countries to Minnesota. In light of the current pandemic, however, this theme has taken on new meaning. I hope that the stories found in this issue will help expel any suspicions or fear of The Other that may try to creep into our minds as we physically separate ourselves from each other.

If nothing else, our community’s response to protect our elderly and vulnerable populations from this pandemic demonstrates an ineffaceable union that binds us together. It’s our duty to remember not only our interconnectedness but the value and humanity of all individuals. 


Brian Kaufenberg



The Belgian Waffle
From hallowed import to sidelined style to mega-brewery powerhouse—It’s been a wild ride for Belgian beer in the American 21st century
By John Garland

The Power of Kveik Compels You
Twin Cities breweries have deployed a Norwegian super-yeast in several new releases
By Growler Staff

History Glass
Yoerg Brewing Co. is on a mission to bring the wealth of Old World beer to Minnesota through an impressive import tap list
By Katelyn Regenscheid

The Zizani
A New Cocktail from the Old Country
By Zachary Sapato

Georgia On My Wine
Wine Time
By Brit Tracy

The Good, The Bad, and the Smooth
Blind tasting 21 local vodkas in search of the finest
By John Garland

651 Tyga Bite
How one American light lager is building a bridge between craft beer and Minnesota’s Hmong community
By Louis Livingston-Garcia

What We’re Drinking
April 2020
By The Growler Staff



Coffee at the Crossroads
Somali-American-owned Nori Cafe in St. Cloud is part coffee shop, part cultural bridge
By James Norton

The Flavor of Facebook
Discovering the wide world of home-cooked food on Facebook Marketplace
By Eli Radtke

Avenue to Success
The founder of Masu and OneTwoThree Sushi went from washing dishes to owning a Midwest sushi empire
By Isabelle Wattenberg

Review: Yumi’s Big Gamble
The silliness of massive ‘stunt sushi’ is self-evident, but the dish has many layers
By James Norton

A Brief Introduction to Latin Markets
By James Norton



Sam Soulek found his calling through design
Artist Profile: Sam Soulek
By Lauren Sauer

Claiming Space
Two artists from war-torn countries find a place and a voice in Minnesota through music
By Youa Vang, The Current

The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2020
By The Growler

Growler Crossword
This month: “The Old Country”
By Victor Barocas and Andrew J. Ries

Looking for past issues? Browse The Growler Archive.